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Seth_K

Will the M4/AR-15 platform remain dominant?

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Considering the popularity of the AK platform in the real world, is it a western thing that we like the M4/AR-15 platform?

 

What will supplant it?

 

Bullpup? P90 in 5.56?

 

Airsoft has a lot more flexibility in terms of design, perhaps we will find the next best thing before they do.

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i think mechanically we've definately plateaued in terms of arms design, the ar15 and the ak platform are going to stay as they are i reckon.

 

thing is they're not really comparable weapons, if you want a gun you can churn out by the million and equip a poorly trained conscript army then the ak is king, likewise equipping a well trained professional army the ar15 (and it's sub-platforms, i'm lumping all the piston driven variants in here as well) are hard to beat in terms of performance.

 

the problem is both platforms have 50+years of constant use and refinement behind them and any newcomer won't have that to call on.

 

tbh i suspect we're going to stay as we are until we get some fundamental tech change either from something like caseless ammunition (although i reckon this is unlikely) or something even more drastic like sufficient electrical storage to make coil guns a valid competitor. 

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In terms of real firearms, it’s not a case of is there better. There’s hundreds of rifles that are better than the current issued AR in American service. The issue always seems to be is the huge cost of re-equipping and army justify the improvements of the platform. There’s FAR better bullets than the 5.56 in terms of ballistics/ stopping power/ effective range and accuracy, and there’s Far better rifles than what’s currently issued. But changing something involves a fuck tonne of cash, politics and retraining. 

 

The AR and AK are sufficient at killing a person in the hands of a semi competent soldier. That’s probably why special forces groups have much more choice of what they’re using, as it’s cheaper to equip a smaller group and the advantages not wasted on them due to better training. 

 

In terms of airsoft... it’s the barbie doll of airsoft. We all want to dress up and play special forces and the AR gives us the most options for man accessories. 

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I'd rather be a Ken than a Barbie but it is your right to be a Barbie if you wish to be (apparently.... lol :lol:)

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4 hours ago, Seth_K said:

airsoft has a lot more flexibility in terms of design, perhaps we will find the next best thing before they do.

 

🤣 nah.  The CM-16s that everyone buys are the same thing TM were putting out nearly 30 years ago.  People don't want innovation in airsoft people want cheap (which is fine) and the people consistently get what they want - supply and demand.  The money spent on airsoft worldwide is a tiny percentage of what is spent on firearms just in the US and just on the civvie market, let alone the 10s of millions in the military.

 

As above, firearms are absolutely at a plateau and if you buy a top of the line AR (or 416 or SCAR or X95 whatever) in something like .224 Valkyrie (and I'm talking very vaguely here, there are thousands of cartridges on the market) then that is as good as an assault rifle can get right now, application dependant.  Caseless ammo was never made to be good enough, they might make part-plastic cases work to lower weight a bit, then in some 6.Xmm calibre with a quality  variable optic, that's as close as you'll come to the 'perfect all rounder' rifle that's decent at close range and long, taking in to account barrier penetration and armour and non-armoured targets, recoil, capacity etc etc etc ad nauseum.  Guns like that would be utterly wasted on most of the world's population though, that's why the AK is the most popular thing, it takes rough treatment and low maintenance in its' stride to a greater extent than the likes of the AR, L85, G36 and most other guns that shoot tighter groups than equivalent AKs.

 

I think bullpups have a lot of value in military service but they're going to die because they're not being made anymore realistically speaking, definitely not compared to the 70s and 80s.  British small arms manufacturing is gone, as is French.  The manufacturing power houses that are left (and you can count them in one hand in terms of factories that can outfit large armies) aren't getting big sales of bullpups, so they're not pushing their development.  On the flip side, HK can't churn out 416s fast enough.  There's a few small exceptions like the Tavor, aussie rifle and the Radom MSBS (which is only a bullpup half the time) but the FAMAS is being replaced with a standard layout and when the Americans adopt 6.X it will bring a new gun which definitely won't be a bullpup; that in turn will hugely influence many other countries.  We'll get a standard layout after the L85A3, a lot of the nations using the AUG right now are/will go back to standard layout.

 

Airsoft wise, if you buy a full-ambi AR you can get to literally every control without even adjusting your shooting hand and bullpups are of little value since barrel length makes so little difference to a BB compared to actual bullets.  It's also a self fulfilling prophecy because even if the AR wasn't a good gun, it's what is made, therefore it's what is cheap, therefore it's what people buy, so it's what other people see and what they see influences what they buy and what they buy influences what gets made.

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Until there’s a significantly good reason to move on from 5.56 the use of AR platforms will continue. It’s ‘good enough’ and the cartridge is ‘good enough’. If the development of polymer cased, telescoped cartridges suceeeds then we’ll see a shift then. It’ll probably be AR shaped though! :) 

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indeed, there may be better cartridges than 5.56 but they aren't better enough to justify the cost of switching the whole of nato over.

 

all weapons are a balance of performance, and both the ak and ar platforms are very good balances when considered for their correct applications (untrained conscripts versus professional soldiers)

 

the bullpup argument is an interesting one, because whilst they tend to be unpopular amongst airsofters and civilian shooters where a long barrel in a short length isn't really much of an advantage there is the logic that modern mechanised armies have a use for them when it comes to hopping in and out of armoured vehicles (something civilians don't so anywhere near as much) and while a longer barrel doesn't mean more accuracy per say it does mean higher velocities (compared to a conventional rifle of equivalent overall length) which makes a difference when not only hitting but damaging the target is a priority.

 

of course there are always trade offs, either you're losing amidexterity for urban warfare (something we're doing a lot more of these days) or you're using some rube goldberg contraption to deal with ejection which makes some important operations much harder than a conventional rifle.

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17 hours ago, CKinnerley said:

I think bullpups have a lot of value in military service but they're going to die because they're not being made anymore realistically speaking

 

China-China-China begs to differ: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBZ-95

 

qbz_95.jpg

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Well I've got a sig 552 coz I'm a hard-core marine, mp5 for slapping like a bawss, vsr10 for when I can't be added running and AR15 because it was a good first gun.  Among others.

 

Ar15s are nice but it's airsoft and anything can be made into a good airsoft gun.  

 

556 NATO is such a standardised round and you aren't going to shoot one that much better than out of an ar15.

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On 03/01/2019 at 15:01, Rogerborg said:

 

China-China-China begs to differ: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBZ-95

 

Correct, but I'm talking about the West, sorry I didn't clarify that's just my standard mindset so I often forget.  We may clothe basically our whole military in Chinese made uniforms/gear, but getting guns from them would be a political step too far even now.  As I say, all things taken in to account they're quite likely to die off in service with European forces (e.g. the FAMAS) and Europe is probably the best known for using them.  Chinese armaments are a pretty bonkers array.

The way things are at the moment and have been for a while, the next British rifle would probably come from HK so that'd be a 433 or 416.  Not that it's impossible for something completely new to appear, but the old days when nations made their own stuff (rifles, web gear and camo) and everyone had something different are definitely fading, to say the least.

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On 05/01/2019 at 22:45, CKinnerley said:

the next British rifle would probably come from HK

 

I read that as "Hong Kong".  Too much airsoft on the brain. :D

 

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22 hours ago, jcheeseright said:

I'd put money on our next rifle coming from HK. It wont be an off the shelf 433 or similar though, that's not how the MOD rolls! It'll be a contradictory mess of competing requirements that takes years to turn into a gun as good as the one it replaced. 

 

yep, they'll want it caliber interchangable, but without removing/adding any parts, and it must weigh less then 6lb but be completely reliable in uk weather conditions, and it has to cost £14.98 per rifle.

 

of course what they'll get is a £1498, 14lb rifle, that can change between 5.56 and 7.62 but only when it runs a reduced load 7.62 cartridge to prevent breaking and it takes an armourer 2 weeks to do the conversion.

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14 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

 

I read that as "Hong Kong".  Too much airsoft on the brain. :D

 

 

On that note, how many solely US/EU RIF manufacturers are there?

9 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

yep, they'll want it caliber interchangable, but without removing/adding any parts, and it must weigh less then 6lb but be completely reliable in uk weather conditions, and it has to cost £14.98 per rifle.

 

of course what they'll get is a £1498, 14lb rifle, that can change between 5.56 and 7.62 but only when it runs a reduced load 7.62 cartridge to prevent breaking and it takes an armourer 2 weeks to do the conversion.

 

Never understood the obsession with 100s and 1000s of unique requirements the MoD put on contracts, buyers remorse?

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12 minutes ago, Seth_K said:

Never understood the obsession with 100s and 1000s of unique requirements the MoD put on contracts, buyers remorse?

 

beurocracy, and a whole bunch of different departments with different needs putting forward their idea of the best kit as the one everyone should adopt, meanwhile in the middle the acountants are trying like hell to get a balance for minimum money

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On 02/01/2019 at 18:41, Wo1f said:

In terms of real firearms, it’s not a case of is there better. There’s hundreds of rifles that are better than the current issued AR in American service. The issue always seems to be is the huge cost of re-equipping and army justify the improvements of the platform. There’s FAR better bullets than the 5.56 in terms of ballistics/ stopping power/ effective range and accuracy, and there’s Far better rifles than what’s currently issued. But changing something involves a fuck tonne of cash, politics and retraining. 

 

The AR and AK are sufficient at killing a person in the hands of a semi competent soldier. That’s probably why special forces groups have much more choice of what they’re using, as it’s cheaper to equip a smaller group and the advantages not wasted on them due to better training. 

 

In terms of airsoft... it’s the barbie doll of airsoft. We all want to dress up and play special forces and the AR gives us the most options for man accessories. 

 

M4 Sopmod - It's Like Barbie For Men.jpg

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4 hours ago, Adolf Hamster said:

of course what they'll get is a £1498, 14lb rifle, that can change between 5.56 and 7.62 but only when it runs a reduced load 7.62 cartridge to prevent breaking and it takes an armourer 2 weeks to do the conversion

 

Rated sad, because it's true.

 

I wonder if the we'll even bother procuring anything new, or if we'll just push the L85A3 beyond 2025 until so many of them have literally fallen apart that we have no choice but to replace them with whatever's available at the time.

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13 hours ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

yep, they'll want it caliber interchangable, but without removing/adding any parts, and it must weigh less then 6lb but be completely reliable in uk weather conditions, and it has to cost £14.98 per rifle.

 

of course what they'll get is a £1498, 14lb rifle, that can change between 5.56 and 7.62 but only when it runs a reduced load 7.62 cartridge to prevent breaking and it takes an armourer 2 weeks to do the conversion.

Swap the word armourer for over priced civilian contractor...

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4 minutes ago, mcwimbo said:

Swap the word armourer for over priced civilian contractor...

 

No i forgot to mention that it will be caliber convertable but they wont bother to buy any of the kits and just get a batch of rifles in each calibers so that over the years they end up being a canniballised hodge podge of parts.

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15 hours ago, mcwimbo said:

Swap the word armourer for over priced civilian contractor...

 

Don't let @CKinnerley hear you say that!

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Plenty of raf camps (usually the smaller ones) already have civilianised armouries, makes sense after all being the defining place that objectively differentiates the military from civvie street...

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5 hours ago, Lozart said:

 

Don't let @CKinnerley hear you say that!

 

Note i said over priced not over paid 🤣

 

 

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